A National Forest Service incident management team estimates that between 7,000 and 20,000 members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light will be arriving in Montana over the next few weeks.

"They finally selected a site, which is on the Beaverhead-Dearlodge National Forest, which is actually near Jackson," said Forest Service Incident Management team Spokeswoman Cass Cairns. "It is basically about ten miles southwest of Jackson and highway 278. This is the same location where they held their national gathering in 2000."

The Forest Service will be providing 27 specially assigned law enforcement officers for the event.

"With such a large gathering, you can always have that negative element, so our law enforcement officers will be patrolling 24/7, and they will be going throughout the gathering to ensure public safety," Cairns said. "They're going to be looking for illegal activity. If there is an emergency need, they will be there for that purpose"

The Rainbow Family describe themselves as a loosely knit family without organization or leadership. The event will take place in the weeks surrounding July 4 and attendance for the event is expected to peak around Independence Day.

Cass Cairns